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Charity

Rough Sleeper Support Scheme to extend help for rough sleepers throughout county

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PEMBROKESHIRE CARE SOCIETY in partnership with Pembrokeshire County Council, has recently launched the Rough Sleeper Support Scheme to extend the support provided to rough sleepers throughout the county.

The organisation has already been assisting rough sleepers with essential items like sleeping bags and food vouchers, but this new initiative allows them to take the support even further.

Since September, Pembrokeshire Care Society has been able to work out of business hours, including late night visits, as well as on weekends to provide around-the-clock assistance to those in need.

Working in partnership with Pembrokeshire County Council, Dyfed-Powys Police, Hywel Dda Health Board, Youth Services and The Third Place, the project has already seen hugely positive results.

The goal is to provide long-term support to rough sleepers and to help them regain independence.

This is achieved though the Rough Sleeper Support Plan, which has four main pillars:

Health and wellbeing: Rough sleeping can have serious negative health consequences, so first and foremost Pembrokeshire Care Society always wants to look out for their wellbeing.
From registering them with a local GP and supplying them with vitamins, to collecting prescriptions and making sure they have access to Covid vaccinations, their medical needs are always a top priority.

Personal and community safety: This requires Pembrokeshire Care Society to have regular communication with the rough sleeper to ensure they know where they are at any given time. With this information, they can keep any family members informed of their current situation, and it also helps them know where they can provide vital items to them. Because most rough sleepers don’t have access to electricity, part of their service is making sure their phone is always charged so they have the means to contact Pembrokeshire Care Society, family, or both.

Independence and control: It’s important that rough sleepers take control back of their life and contribute to their plan. Pembrokeshire Care Society’s aim is to provide the assistance they need to take positive steps and always be there for guidance.
Whether it’s helping them with appointments at the job centre or other vital meetings, they work alongside them to keep them on the right track for progress.

Economic progress and financial control: Regaining control of personal finances is one of the biggest challenges for a rough sleeper.
From assistance in claiming benefits, getting to job interviews, or even arranging for lost or stolen cards to be replaced, financial independence is always something they try to assist with as soon as possible.

Community engagement is hugely important in Pembrokeshire Care Society’s mission, and anyone can help them get vital assistance to rough sleepers.
If you know or see a rough sleeper, get in touch with Pembrokeshire Care Society with the basic details of where you saw them and a short description. If it’s out of hours, leave them a voicemail or send them an email – all reports are seriously looked in to as a matter of urgency.

You can call Pembrokeshire Care Society on 01437 765335 or email them at [email protected]

If you know any family members of rough sleepers you can also tell them about Pembrokeshire Care Society’s services so they can contact them directly.

Alternatively, you can use Street Link (www.streetlink.org.uk), a national organisation that will pass on any reports of rough sleepers to Pembrokeshire Care Society and Pembrokeshire County Council. You will receive a follow-up to your report to know what action has been taken to help the person in question.

Charity

Memories of inspirational Paul Sartori captured for generations to come

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THE PAUL SARTORI HOSPICE at Home charity held a celebration at Pembrokeshire Archive following its 19-month long oral history project which captured precious memories of the man who inspired it.
The charity’s history project officer, Simon Hancock said he was thrilled to welcome staff, trustees, volunteers, interviewees and supporters on such a special occasion.

The official title of the project was ‘Voices from the Community – Father Paul Sartori’s journey from priest to hospice care’ and was the brainchild of the charity’s grant development officer Judith Williams.
Father Sartori was a Haverfordwest-based parish priest who identified a need for hospice care in Pembrokeshire but died of cancer at the age of 39 before his dream could be realised. Inspired by his vision, parishioners and friends formed the Paul Sartori Foundation 40 years ago.

Speaking to a packed room, Simon explained: “This has been an extraordinary journey of discovery over the past 19 months. It’s a matter of no small regret that we contemplate the end of the road. We were keen to identify people who had personal memories of Father Paul Sartori – this young, dynamic, charismatic Catholic priest who inspired the charity which bears his name today.

“We wanted to record those precious memories, and record them as a permanent record for future generations. These memories were so varied. Some people might have known Father Sartori from a one chance conversation, others might have been associates of him – we spoke to them for a full 45 minutes.
“This was enabled thanks to the generous funding of the Heritage Lottery Fund. I want to publicly thank them for seeing the value and virtue of this project, and for being so supportive along the way.”

Simon said the project had exceeded all expectations. “To date we’ve identified and interviewed 64 people who knew Father Sartori either as a family member, as a school friend, a parishioner, or somebody involved with one of the organisations in Haverfordwest – or in the field of social care in which Father Sartori was a compassionate and energetic activist.

“The work of the project was carried out largely by 16 gallant volunteers, including a small cohort of students at Pembrokeshire College.

“It was technically demanding, and I’d like to publicly thank Kiara Quimby, the project assistant, for carrying out a lot of this work herself and liaising with the volunteers involved in the tasks.”

Volunteers carried out interviews, transcriptions, proofreading and Welsh translation. The project aimed to be fully bilingual. The recorded interviews, along with associated material like photographs and ephemera, have been uploaded to the People’s Collection of Wales. Its website provides access to the rich history and heritage of Wales.

Simon thanked Berian Elias of the People’s Collection of Wales for providing invaluable training for the volunteers, and for attending the celebration. There were laptops and earphones available on the day so people could go onto the website and sample some of the interviews.

Simon pointed out that one day there would be nobody left who would have known Father Sartori and that thanks to ‘Voices from the Community’ “the danger of these memories disappearing into an endless void that no historian could penetrate” had been averted.

A number of Father Sartori’s personal possessions have been gifted to the charity including his Bible, photographs, study books, rosaries, trophies, membership badges, even a bottle of holy water acquired on a pilgrimage to Lourdes, and they will be on display at Haverfordwest Museum when it reopens in 2025-26.

All the research and items gathered provide an initial deposit into the new ‘Paul Sartori Archive’ in Pembrokeshire Archive.

Simon said he had been involved in other oral history projects in the past and that the current one had been a model of its kind – “Great scope, great volunteers, insightful interviews which captured a range of emotions and feelings…and outcomes that will stand the test of time”.

Berian Elias told the audience: “I’d like to say a big ‘thank you’ for the invitation to come here today and it’s lovely to see so many faces celebrating the fantastic achievement of this project. It’s bitter sweet, I’m sure, seeing this project coming to an end. The achievement of the project is to safeguard and capture those memories for future generations.”

David Evans, Chair of Trustees, Paul Sartori, thanked the research team for their work, and pointed out that in an average year in which 1,600 people might pass away in Pembrokeshire, up to 400 people are likely to have received help and support from the charity.

Father Sartori died on April 16, 1980, and is buried beside his parents in his home town of Llanelli

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Charity

Ascona Group donates £40,000 to Wales Air Ambulance

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PEMBROKESHIRE’S Ascona Group has made a donation of £40,000 to its charity partner, the Wales Air Ambulance.

After Ascona made an initial donation of £10,000 in March 2023 to celebrate the start of the partnership, the Group has made this additional donation following the success of its fundraising activities over the last few months. Ascona anticipates raising over £100,000 for the Wales Air Ambulance over the course of the year-long partnership, through all of its proposed activities.

The partnership helps to support the Wales Air Ambulance in their mission to deliver lifesaving medical care to people across Wales, whenever and wherever they need it. The service relies entirely on charitable donations to raise the necessary £11.2 million in funds to keep the helicopters in the air and rapid response vehicles on the roads across Wales.

Darren Briggs, Founder and CEO of Ascona Group, commented: “Since we launched Ascona in 2011, supporting our local communities has been at the heart of everything we do so I am very proud that we are able to support the Wales Air Ambulance in their vital work.

“I am thrilled that we were able to make another significant donation to the charity, and we remain on track to hit our ambitious fundraising target which will help to ensure this fantastic charity can continue to deliver lifesaving medical care to people across Wales.”

Mark Stevens, Head of Fundraising, Wales Air Ambulance Charity commented: “We are all amazed at the level of support from Ascona Group. This is the certainly the most ambitious pledge received from a business to the charity in recent years. Working with Ascona on the partnership has been positive and rewarding. It is very rare to partner with a business that demonstrates such high levels of Corporate Social Responsibility. On behalf of all crew, staff and patients, thank you.”

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Charity

Local developer supports Pembrokeshire charity’s fundraising

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A CHARITY that supports people across Pembrokeshire with end-of-life care in their homes has secured a donation from a local housebuilder.

The Paul Sartori Foundation was awarded £1,000 from Persimmon Homes West Wales’ Community Champions scheme. The money has been used to purchase 100 branded t-shirts and sports vests so the charity’s fundraisers can show who they are supporting during events like the London Marathon, Cardiff Half, or other fun runs and walks.

The Haverfordwest-based charity, established in 1981 in memory of Father Paul Sartori who died of cancer at age 39, was formed initially as a home care service. Now the charity provides a range of free services to those in the final stages of life including day and night home care, equipment loan, complementary therapies, bereavement and counselling support, physiotherapy, future care planning and training in a range of topics (in-house and to other health and social care colleagues).

During 2022/2023, the clinical team provided nearly 17,000 hours of hands-on nursing care and supplied over 1,700 items of equipment in the community.

Five-star housing developer Persimmon Homes is currently building in Haverfordwest. Its 181-house Merlins Lane site in the west of the town still has three-bedroom homes available from £209,995.

The funding came from the business’ Community Champions scheme which sees the West Wales region donate £24,000 each year to good causes and commendable organisations in the areas in which it develops. Recent recipients include Wales Air Ambulance.

They had previously donated to the Foundation in 2019 and 2020, delivering £6,000 for the charity’s bereavement and counselling services for children.

Commenting, Persimmon Homes West Wales Sales Director Sharon Bouhali, said:

“Persimmon West Wales is delighted to once again support the excellent work of the Paul Sartori Foundation, which serves people across Pembrokeshire with distinction.

“For us, the more people who see the name of this fantastic charity the better, so using our donation as a means to spread the word is something we are very proud of.

“We look forward to seeing them in use at local shows and even on the TV when people do marathons when fundraising for the Foundation.”

Judith Williams, Grant Development Officer at the Paul Sartori Foundation, added: “We’re very grateful for Persimmon’s continued support. Any donation, of any amount, is always really appreciated.

“The Foundation decided to purchase t-shirts and sports vests. This enables us to raise the profile of the charity even more, and in turn hopefully enables us to raise more money so we can continue our work.

“Father Paul Sartori began the work of bringing hospice care to Pembrokeshire and it is essential that we can continue to help those who need our support, and we thank Persimmon again for being a part of that.”

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